Best Seafood Listicle
Author: Richard Porter | Photo/illustration: Jake Campbell
Seafood is like a hip hop mixtape: the fresher, the better.
The freshest seafood comes directly from the waters of the Salish Sea. You can catch it.
Crab and line fish for salmon or cutthroat trout among the bobbing and barncalce-clad wharves of the Everett Marina. Cracking the carapace of a dungeness crab before boiling it over a beachwood fire... well, you get to feeling lie you’re living in an LL Bean catalogue.
Here are your best bets for enjoying the freshest bounty of the sea.
CATCH YOUR OWN
How? Make sure you have the right permits. Do your homework in advance and know what’s in season during your visit to the Salish Sea: this will help you to prepare appropriate clothing, gear, and licensing. That way you can just show up and drop a line without first tackling the red tape of local governance.
The options for catching seafood are myriad. But you could try:
- Crabbing off the piers at the Everett Waterfront.
- Fishing from the beach at Picnic Point or Kayak Point.
- Dropping crabpots for dungeness off Whidbey Island.
- The Everett Coho Derby - an annual competition/celebration that corresponds with the arrival of the silver salmon to the Salish Sea.
PLACES TO GET GEAR AND BAIT
- Triangle Bait Shop, Family owned and operated bait shop since 1981
- John’s (Broadway, Everett), Fishing gear since 1953
- Pacific Fly Fishers, Mill Creek - they stock 7,000 products. Everything you would need for a flyfishing trip, down to the inflatable rafts. Also, they charter fishing trips in the Salish Sea, a great way for an amateur to learn the basics of casting a line.
- Marine Supply Shops at Everett Marina: West Marine and Harbor Marine with the Fisherman's Market & Grill
Hip waders and cable knit sweaters aren’t for everyone. It’s okay to have someone else catch, gut, and flay the fish for you. May we recommend the folowing places?
Anthony’s HomePort - the windswept Edmonds and Everett waterfronts are adorned with Anthony’s restaurants. They’re the place to get a fine cut of fish, along with classic upper-eschalon dining fare like mashed potatoes, vegetanbles, bread and wine. The ingredients won’t blow your socks off with innovation, but the quality of the food is sure to please along with views of Ebey, Whidbey, and Gedney Islands.
A summer visit is perfect for dining al fresco with a white tablecloth and flutes of white wine while inhaling large gulps of briney sea air. Invigorating!
Looking for a few appetizers and some drinks rather than the suitcoat scene? Try Anthony’s Woodfire Grill (also on the Everett Marina), for a hipper, lighter take on from-the-sea dining and drinks.
- Everett (1726 W Marine View Dr, 425-252-3333)
- Anthony’s Woodfire Grill Everett (1722 W Marine View Dr, 425-258-4000)
- Edmonds (456 Admiral Way, 425-771-4400)
Arnie’s - established formal restaurants on the Salish Sea waterfront offer views of the Edmonds and Mukileo ferries. How well does Arnie’s “do” seafood? Every year they offer a special “Festival of the prawns” menu that corresponds to the prawn run in the North Pacific. Customers can order macadamia prawns with pineapple banana salsa, mandarin ginger prawns, or pad thai with prawns. You get the idea. But even if the shellfish aren’t running, you can always stop in for a cloth napkin, fine wine, and a delicious fillet of salmon.
Look, let’s not be pretentious here. A basket of fish and chips, done right (read: crispy and mouth-scaldingly hot) is all you need to make you Pacific Northwest experience complete. Moreover, there’s a simple walk-up counter by the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal— you can eat crispy fried seafood right on the sea.
Ivar’s is a Seatle-area institution that was started by an actual (and wildly eccentric) sea captain named Ivar. Locals love this small chain of quirky restaurants and will look at you weird if you call it “I-Vahrs.” It’s supposed to be pronounced “I-vers” (emphasis on the “I”).
Ivar’s offers fast casual Seafood Bars and three full-service waterfront-view restaurants, two in Seattle and one in Seattle NorthCountry at Ivar's Mukilteo Landing.
Ivar's Waterfront Dining
- Mukilteo Waterfront (710 Front St, 425-742-6180)
Ivar’s Seafood Bars
- Fish Bar at Mukilteo Landing (710 Front St, 425-742-6180)
- Everett (1520 41st St, 425-252-9292)
- Edmonds (9910 Edmonds Way, 425-672-2640)
- Marysville (9726 State Ave, 360-653-7734)
OFF THE BOAT FROM ALASKA
If you time your visit right, you can get fresh seafood from Troller Point Fisheries, a family-owned boat that catches seafood in Alaska, freezes it at sea, and brings it directly to the docks on the Everett Marina. If you’re not a fisherperson, it’s the freshest way to get buttery halibut cheeks freeze-dried and in bulk. Check their website to see when they’ll be pulling into town.